ESCANABA - Jason Bradley Ives pleaded no contest to two counts of embezzlement Tuesday, canceling a three-day trial scheduled to begin in Delta County Circuit Court today. Sentencing is scheduled for July.
Ives, 32, of Bark River, will be sentenced on two counts of larceny by conversion $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, each a five-year felony. In an unscheduled hearing Tuesday, he pleaded no contest to the two charges for scamming two parties out of separate down payments they paid on the same house at 6556 C Road in Bark River Township.
One couple paid Ives a $4,000 down payment to buy the house in a land contract with a closing date of Aug. 9, 2010. Another victim paid Ives $10,000 as down payments on the home with an Aug. 10, 2010, closing date on a land contract.
When the property deal never closed for one party and Ives failed to refund the down payment, a complaint was filed with the Delta County Sheriff Department. Following investigation into the alleged scams and other incidents in Delta County, Ives was arrested in September 2011 for embezzlement.
Ives is scheduled to be sentenced on the two counts of larceny by conversion at 9 a.m. on July 10 in circuit court. A no contest plea is sentenced the same as a guilty plea.
Ives is also scheduled for additional trials later this year. He faces one count of larceny by conversion and one count of false pretenses $20,000 or more in a circuit court trial Aug. 7-9. False pretenses is a 10-year felony. In a related civil complaint, Ives and his wife, Jennifer Ives, are scheduled for a bench trial in circuit court on Sept. 13-14.
In addition, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is in the process of making a decision on allegations that Ives violated building and occupational codes while constructing a home in Rapid River. He is also under investigation for alleged home remodeling scams in Menominee County.